Sun Prairie-Tom Jacobs dropped his weed-wacker and moved onto weedless lawns suddenly on Thursday, June 7th, at the age of 68. He was known in his family for his generosity his quick wit, and dry sense of humor, often coming up with good and bad one-liners, puns, and stories.
He was born April 3rd, 1950, in the middle of a large ice storm in Clinton, Iowa to Dick and Merle Jacobs, the middle of 11 children. He graduated from Clinton High School in 1968, the year the school burned down.
He attended Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa for a brief turn, then he left school only to receive an invitation from Uncle Sam. A conscientious objector, he served a year and a half as an ambulance driver at Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Washington.
He returned to Iowa State and graduated in 1974 in Computer Science. On August 18, 1973, he married Judi Kopecky of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. They moved to Des Moines where he worked for the state until they moved to Madison, WI in 1976, where he was employed by the state of Wisconsin as a programmer for various departments. They were surprised in 1978 by the arrival of twin daughters, Jennifer and Rachel.
Tom eventually went to work for the company which is now known as Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation; he retired from there in 2015. While working there, he kept computers running in order to help college students acquire and maintain debt. Upon retirement he expected many more years of boat building and woodworking, along with time with family. His life, like his boat, remains unfinished.
He is survived by his wife Judi, and daughters, Rachel Jacobs, of Lexington, KY and Jenni Jacobs (Sankar Gopalasubramanian) of Palatine, Illionis. The final joys of his life are his grandchildren, Anya and Arun Subramanian. He is also survived by 8 siblings and their spouses: Pat (Sister Carmel) of Arizona,Richard and Martha of Arizona, Mary and Mike Smith of Arizona, Jim and Karen of Ohio, Ed and Theresa of Racine, WI, Mike and Leonor of West Virginia, Jean Dillon of Missouri, Jackie Martin of Madison, WI, and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his grandmother Lydia, parents, Dick and Merle Jacobs, and 2 of his sisters, Joanie and Ellen.
Visitation will be from 1:00 - 3:00 PM on Friday, June 15, 2018 at the Cress Funeral Home, 1310 Emerald Terrace, Sun Prairie, WI 53590 with a Funeral Service to begin at 3:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to 2nd Harvest Food Bank, 2802 Dairy Dr, Madison, WI 53718 or The Dane County Humane Society, 5132 Voges Rd, Madison, WI 53718.
Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
1310 Emerald Terrace
Sun Prairie, WI 53590
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In 7th grade Tom was given a F in history because the teacher disliked him. The principal moved it to D because he knew Tom was very bright. The next year Tom won the Daughters of the American Revolution Award as best history student in the county . Tom went back to the old teacher who gave him a F with his medal and ribbons to show her how much he had improved. It was really a subtle dig at the old bat. It was the best revenge but subtly subversive.
His senior year Tom was asleep in history class It was a advanced class. He used to read books that college students would read and hide them in the textbook that was for high school. Anyway Ms. Stoddard the history teacher asked "are you with us Tom. Please enlighten us on Vietnam" He woke up and " the antecedents of it started at Dien Bien Phu with the French and went on in a answer a scholar might give. " The teacher said it was off topic. But he had triumphed .
I was taking my dads john boat thru the locks on the Mississippi River near Le Claire. The water was being lowered. We told Tom to hold on to the dock but I paddled the boat away from the dock a little so he was stretched out and clinging to the boat with his toes and the dock with his hands . Prone. If he fell in it would have dangerous. But we quickly pulled the rope to the dock
Tom used to ask for money to pay gas when he drove. We said sure Tom. Then Dave Knudson found Tom had lost change under the seat when he left the car. So we paid him his own change -more than once.
Tom was in sound crew . We had a mock debate on the high school stage. He asked the teacher if "he could have the stage". He knew part of the stage (that hid the electrical) could be pulled up and walked off with it.
Tom and I changed history. Warren Smith a writer lived next to Tom. We researched a article Warren wrote about the Black Panthers putting LSD in the water supply in Chicago for the Democratic convention in 1968. It got published in Saga magazine and was cited as a reason for the police build up in Chicago.
Tom was a great friend and our comic adventures are something I will always treasure. Dave Sorenson
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